Anxiety in Cats: Symptoms and Solutions

All of us get anxious and so do our cats. Basically anxiety is nothing but the anticipation of future dangers from some unknown sources that result in normal body reactions related to fear. The most common noticeable behaviors include urination or passage of bowel movements, destruction and limitless barking or crying. Anxiety of separation is perhaps the most common anxiety found in companion animals. When they are alone they show anxiety or excessive distressed behaviors.

Symptoms and types

  • Mild fears: Signs may include withdrawal, trembling, hiding, reduced activity along with passive escape behaviors.
  • Panic: Active escape behavior, excessive out of the context and potentially injurious motor activity.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Lesions secondary to anxious activities such as biting or licking self


  1. Any illness or disturbed physical condition increases anxiety further adds to the growth of fears, phobias as well as anxieties.
  2. Infectious disease such as viral infections in the central nervous system or toxic conditions such as lead poisoning lead to behavioral problems in your cat.
  3. If your cat is kept away from social and environmental exposure until the age of 14 weeks, it may become habitually fearful of contact.
  4. Your cat might start suffering from separation anxiety if it has a history of abandonment or if it is owned by multiple owners.

Your vet will first want to rule out other possibilities such as brain or thyroid disease that might affect your cat’s behavior. The behavior of your cat might appear different as a response to a toxic substance such as lead, which has the potential to cause neurological disorder. If your vet diagnoses that the behavioral change is the result of simple fear, anxiety or phobia, he will prescribe some of the commonly used anxiety medication for cats.


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